Strike could threaten Midsummer schnapps

Strike could threaten Midsummer schnapps
An unofficial strike at a Systembolaget (Swedish alcohol retail monopoly) warehouse south of Stockholm is currently underway, possibly threatening the supply of Sweden's favourite holiday beverage.

“We might run out of certain products,” Lennart Agén, information officer at Systembolaget, told TT.

The strike is not sanctioned by the Union of Commercial Employees (Handels), but the LO labour organization is sympathetic.

“It is extremely provocative that the company gave 33 employees notice right in the middle of ongoing local negotiations. But Handels operates according to the accepted union protocol, that is to say we follow the existing negotiation regulations,” wrote Tommy Tillgren, Handels’ deputy chairman, in a statement.

The strike is being held at the Lagena warehouse, a subsidiary of Systembolaget. According to Agén, Lagena has been running at a loss, after losing Pernod Ricard as a major customer following the Vin & Sprit purchase. Lagena consequently needed to reduce the number of permanent staff and bring in temporary employees when necessary.

The strike could, if it continues for several days, mean that certain products from Systembolaget might run out.

“At present, it’s difficult to say what the consequences might be,” Agén said.

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